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DragonSlayer 7 "Castle" Stop Motion Animation

I really went all out to build the sets for this stop motion animation. One of the sets was eight feet tall and took up a lot of my living room. In this tutorial I show you these sets and tell you how to make sets and do stop motion animation with them.

I also have the video so can watch that and see the end product.



Here is the video that I made. This is what I discuss and show you in this tutorial.


Making a Stop Motion Animation - Start with the StoryBoard

If you are going to do an animation with any story or any complexity at all you should draw out a storyboard first. This way you can fully understand what it will look like, what camera angles you need, and what sets you have to build.

Storyboarding is not difficult. You just draw up a bunch of boxes and draw out key parts of the story. Stick figures is quite ok. It isn't art work. It just helps you to understand what the movie or animation will look like. I have a template here (pdf) that you can print out. It has the blank story board boxes already on it. This is the template that I use. The picture here shows the storyboard I made for this animation project.

I have more information on how to do a storyboard here.




You draw a quick sketch of the scene and add some notes. This picture gives you a good idea of this. My dragonslayer character is climbing in the castle window.









Building the Sets - I built three major sets for the animation.


Now let's look at the major set of the animation. This is the dragon's castle perched on top of the mountain. Our main character (the dragonslayer) climbs this mountain and gets inside the castle through a window.














And here is a look at the castle after it was completed out of foam. I used a building materials called Foamular. You can buy this in sheets at Home Depot or other home improvement stores. I used sheets that are one inch thick. Costs about nine dollars a sheet. and each sheet is 2 feet by 8 feet in size.

I did draw out sketches of this too so I could shoot the video. And once I had it made I then painted it and used various types of moss to give it a good terrain look.

For the most part I used duct tape and masking tape to put it all together. Then I glued it together and gave it some great rocky look with a product called Great Stuff. It's an insulating foam that expands. That is the yellowish stuff you see.


There are two important things that I want to point out about this structure. You can see there are two inclines that the dragonslayer walks up. I used thin sheets of plywood to do this.

This is important because I needed I strong base to drill holes and support the figure as he walked up the inclines.



This picture shows you what I mean by having some wood so you can bolt down the figure. This is necessary so you can walk the character in steps. So I needed to have those two inclines made out of thin wood.












The Second Set -

The last part of the animation shows the dragonslayer climbing into a window and walking down a corridor. This set is simpler than the other set. It is just three sheets of the foamular.

I painted brick patterns on the wall and ceiling and plain black on the ceiling. It's open like this so I could work on it and shoot the animation. I also made the wall not seen. This wall was needed for a couple of the shots.

I also installed a couple of christmas lights as torches in the corridor.




This picture shows some details in the corridor including the light and the skeleton that was made out of clay and paper.









The final set that I made was a simple catwalk. You can only see part of it here but it is just two sheets of the foam board glued together to form the catwalk. I carved it a bit, painted it and added some texture.








Beginners guide to animationBeginner's Guide to Animation: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

To beginners, making an animated movie can seem like voodoo magic. And in fact, until recently, animation was expensive and time-consuming. But now with the help of Beginner's Guide to Animation, anyone can make animated movies, using a digital camera, basic software, and a computer. The book begins with an illustrated guide to setting up a simple animation studio at home, including a list of essential items. Then, new animators hit the ground running with six innovative, instructive projects designed to develop technical skills and explore the potential of animation. A full collection of scannable templates makes it even easier to get started and to finish up. Tips, tricks, and clear instructions on editing, scoring, even making your own show reels and shorts make this the complete one-volume guide to amazing friends and family-and everyone on YouTube!-with great I-made-it-myself animation.

Klutz book of animation

The Klutz Book of Animation: Make Your Own Stop Motion Movies

Welcome to the wide-open world of animation. It used to take an empire the size of the Magic Kingdom to make an animated film. And to get viewers, you'd need access to cineplexes or television networks. In other words, you were either in the industry or in the audience. That was then. Today, creating animation for a potential audience of 600 million requires a laptop, a camera, and an internet connection. That's it. The barriers have come down, the people have taken over, and the results are amazing. The Klutz Book of Animation is a complete how-to treatment of this newly accessible art form. It combines practical instruction and ready-to-shoot scripts. Real-life samples of all the projects are viewable online - the perfect marriage of book and web. Speaking of web, the software you'll need is available as a free download. It's plug and play on any computer (PC or Mac). Attached to the book is a piece of low-tech, non-toxic clay, ready to be molded into a million different heroes starring in a million different films - all of them animatedly yours.

Secrets of Clay Animation

Secrets Of Clay Animation Revealed 3!

Secrets of Clay Animation Revealed 3 is a book teaching all methods the experts use to make stop motion films from start to finish. After reading Secrets you will know how to create several types of armatures, learn how puppets are sculpted, make a motion control rig, light your sets, make your own surface gages, use video reference, chroma key, capture programs and more.



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